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Using Ayurvedic Principles In Your Daily Diet


Authored By: Michael Russell  


The ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda believes that what you eat is equally important as what your body does with the food you just ate. This combination and not just the food alone, is what really shapes your health and well-being.

In Ayurveda, each body is unique with unique dietary needs. Your Ayurvedic practitioner will check your body constitution, age, the environment you live in, what is currently causing you to have an imbalance between mind and body. However, there are key Ayurvedic diet principles that are universal and the following are simple ways to integrate the Ayurvedic way of eating into your usual eating habits.


First, it is suggested that you add the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon to a hot cup of water or add lemon zest to your herbal tea. This should be drunk first thing in the morning before breakfast. This warm lemon juice is good for all body types because it aids intestinal cleansing by slowing the growth of disease-causing bacteria in the digestive system. It enhances digestion and helps reduce bloating while stimulating the digestive juices. This juice also helps in elimination so your tummy is naturally flushed clear in the morning. Lemon juice is also an antioxidant that helps fight other disease-causing free radicals in the body while keeping your skin clear.

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Second, refrain from drinking cold beverages. According to Ayurveda, having iced or cold drinks especially with or right after a meal will hamper effective digestion. It's like emptying cold water over hot coals-this is what you do to your digestive system when you drink iced beverages with any meal. Instead, choose lukewarm water or fennel tea to help digestion and prevent bloating. You can also drink cumin tea or ginger-mint tea. Warm spiced tea can stimulate digestion and help your body absorb nutrients from the food you are eating. They also flush toxins from your system.

Third, eat slowly and mindfully. Try to present food beautifully. Well-presented food can engage all your other senses that will later aid in digestion. Eating should be a delightful and creative experience, with aromas, colors and flavors blending and coming together for your full enjoyment. Your dining area should be clean and free of clutter. Nothing else but food should be on the table during mealtimes. Try to eat in a peaceful and happy atmosphere as much as you can.

Fourth, eat lunch properly. Most of us skip lunch or just grab a bite because we're too busy. In Ayurveda, lunch is THE most important meal of the day. Mid-day is the time when digestion is at its natural peak for your body to complete the digestion process fully. A heavy meal at night is discouraged because eating a heavy dinner results in a lot of undigested food that gets clogged in your system. It's harder to fall asleep after a heavy dinner. Weight gain can also be inevitable. After eating a full lunch, it is suggested that you take time to relax and sit quietly. This gives your body a chance to digest well before you resume your daily activities.

Fifth, drink lots of water. The Ayurvedic beverage of choice is pure, lukewarm water. Water is important for digestion and absorption of nutrients. It helps flush out toxins and prevents bloating and constipation. Water also helps carry nutrients to all the cells and tissues and breaks down fat. Clear and fresh vegetable broths are also good for detoxification.


Michael Russell Your Independent Alternative guide.
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